No need for 11 ….
…. 10 will be loud enough.
If you’re willing to look in the left field rather than the mainstream for new offerings in the hard rock world, then here’s another gem from Doogie White and his original band, La Paz.
‘Light The Fire’ – With the volume at level 10 equivalent in my car sound system , the opening drum salvo from Paul McManus blew my ears out and just about gave me a hernia simultaneously. Good start and it gets better.
‘No Place In Heaven’ + ‘The Revenge Of El Guapo’ - Absolutely brilliant song and arrangement; a bit quirky with it and a tip of the hat to the spaghetti western, but it works. Only black mark chaps – ‘The Revenge Of El Guapo’ – only one minute long! I’m sure messrs Mason and McSherry could have let this one go for a bit.
‘Daughter Of Time’ and ‘Book Of Shadows’ – Just fantastic songs and arrangements all round, as well as ‘Heart Of Stone’ - If you’re already a Doogie White fan you’ll love all of these.
That’s a loose unordered list of my own favourites, but there’s also –
‘Little Miss Dynamite’ - I’ve never really heard La Paz as an R&B outfit and this just works really well.
‘The Prize’ – Probably my favourite vocal on the album and DW sings it with a bit of vengeance.
Not so keen – Faith, Hope and Love; Retribution Blues; Throw Me To The Wolves.
Of course, none of this matters, except what YOU like. I gave ‘The Dark And The Light’ 5/5 three years ago. I gave ‘Shut Up And Rawk’ 4/5 after one listen + three live songs at the album launch gig last week in Glasgow, probably because I thought TDATL was an all-round great album. This album is heavier, so if you’re leanings are more to the metal side, you may disagree with me. However, after an awful lot of playing Shut Up And Rawk during the last week, I reserve the right to change my mind. When the Doogie White/La Paz songbook is finally closed, there are a few songs on this album that will be in my desert island playlist.
La Paz are something of an oddity; started out over 30 years ago, got next to nowhere, then wound up; they resurface about 25 years later and carry on where they left off …. but better. Maybe that 25yr hiatus is what’s behind such a good songbook now; the songwriting is better and the playing is better. Whether or not you end up agreeing with my song reviews, I don’t know, but one thing’s for sure - it’s a mighty fine album, brilliantly played, by a damned fine bunch of musicians.
Doogie White and La Paz ….. Shut Up And Rawk …. Go Get